Smiles were restored on the faces of Port Loko people when the Minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Kabba, Head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Kandeh Yumkella made a visit to the projected site for the construction of a one Mega Watt (MW) generation plant at the Bankasoka river flow.
Dignitaries who also graced the ceremony were the General Manager of National Power Authority (NPA) Dr Zubairu Kaloko, Deputy Minister of Energy and Power, Program Director for Bumbuna Abdul Jalloh, Sierra Leone Ambassador to China, Dr Joseph Koroma and other delegates from UNIDO among others.
Speaking at the site, Haja Afsatu Kabba said that the brain behind this project is Dr Yumkella who takes the vision of President Koroma to make energy his number one priority.
She added that the essence of the one MW is to provide, reliable, efficient and cost effective electricity for the people of Port Loko.
The Minister called on Port Loko people to embrace the project as it will create livelihood for them.
Dr Kandeh Yumkella said that, the project is expected to be completed in January 2010, adding that, there is no politics attached to the project, but rather for the people of Port Loko. With electricity, he said hospitals will run effectively, the economy will boom, the standard of living will improve and it will create employment for the youth.
Dr Yumkella noted that the electrification of Port Loko will create a difference in the lives of people. He disclosed that they will be sending in two technical teams to do an assessment of the environment. UNIDO Project Officer Rana Prnatapsingh said that the site has the potential to serve households in Port Loko and out of Port Loko. “I’ve never seen such a site in all the places I have worked”, Rana said, noting that Port Loko is a potential place for development.
The Chairman of the Port Loko District Council Munir Fofanah welcomed and thanked the delegation for choosing their town to benefit from UNIDO and the Chinese Government. Adama Kanu a trader in Port Loko said that she was very happy for the project as her town is backwards in terms of development.
By Abibatu Kamara